On the limits of interpreting some plastic responses through a cooperator/cheater prism. A comment on Harrison (bibtex)
by Alizon, S
Abstract:
Micro-organisms are known to exhibit phenotypic plasticity in response to changes in their environment. Recent studies have shown that a parasite strain can adjust its host exploitation strategies to the presence of unrelated strains, e.g. for Plasmodium chabaudi by adjusting its sex-ratio. J Evol Biol 2013; 26: 1370-1378 claims to report a similar plastic response to the presence of unrelated strains in the case of siderophore-producing bacteria. I argue that she does not provide sufficient evidence to support the interpretation of the plastic response she observes (increasing siderophore production in the presence of cheaters) through a cooperator/cheater framework. I show that known plastic responses to physicochemical factors, such as siderophore or iron concentration, seem to offer a clearer and more parsimonious explanation. Finally, I also challenge the parallel she makes between the process she observes in siderophore-producing bacteria and compensation in bi-parental care models.
Reference:
Alizon S. (2013) On the limits of interpreting some plastic responses through a cooperator/cheater prism. A comment on Harrison. J Evol Biol. 26(9): 2051-6.
Bibtex Entry:
@article{Alizon2013jeb,
	Abstract = {Micro-organisms are known to exhibit phenotypic plasticity in response to changes in their environment. Recent studies have shown that a parasite strain can adjust its host exploitation strategies to the presence of unrelated strains, e.g. for Plasmodium chabaudi by adjusting its sex-ratio. J Evol Biol 2013; 26: 1370-1378 claims to report a similar plastic response to the presence of unrelated strains in the case of siderophore-producing bacteria. I argue that she does not provide sufficient evidence to support the interpretation of the plastic response she observes (increasing siderophore production in the presence of cheaters) through a cooperator/cheater framework. I show that known plastic responses to physicochemical factors, such as siderophore or iron concentration, seem to offer a clearer and more parsimonious explanation. Finally, I also challenge the parallel she makes between the process she observes in siderophore-producing bacteria and compensation in bi-parental care models.},
	Author = {Alizon, S},
	Date-Added = {2015-03-18 10:26:24 +0000},
	Date-Modified = {2015-09-08 12:10:37 +0000},
	Doi = {10.1111/jeb.12199},
	Journal = {J Evol Biol},
	Journal-Full = {Journal of evolutionary biology},
	Keywords = {bacteria, kin selection, cooperation, siderophores},
	Number = {9},
	Pages = {2051-6},
	Pmid = {23848984},
	Pst = {ppublish},
	Title = {{On the limits of interpreting some plastic responses through a cooperator/cheater prism. A comment on Harrison}},
	Url = {http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jeb.12199/pdf},
	Volume = {26},
	Year = {2013},
	Bdsk-Url-1 = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jeb.12199}}
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